The shabby style: what is it? How to recreate it?

The Shabby was born in the 80s as a style of furniture focused on the recovery of old objects to which, after a skilful restoration, that delicious and unmistakable lived-in aspect remains, and owes its name to the designer and author Rachel Ashwell, a real guru on the subject, which has also dedicated a book to this trend - "Shabby Chic" - which begins with an emblematic phrase that makes us understand the true soul of this style: "Comfort, the beauty of imperfection, the charm of objects ruined by time combined with the pleasure of a simple and practical life: these are the foundations of what we know today as the Shabby Chic style ".

In addition to being a style of furniture, the Shabby is also a philosophy of recycling and recovery, the secret is knowing how to combine the old with the new, skilfully mixing - and without too many precise finishes - history with the present.

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© Francesca Marini- Styling: Alessandro Pennesi

Colors and materials

First of all the colors: white, ivory, cream, sand, pastel shades in general. These are the main shades of the Shabby Chic style, which can easily adapt and fit into any furnishing context, from the most traditional to the contemporary; without upsetting them, but giving them an irresistible vintage flavor.

As for the materials, wood and linen are the two that reign supreme in the Shabby Chic house: the furniture will therefore be made of wood and the paint of the furnishings should not be perfect, but always give the impression that they are accessories recovered from grandmother's attic.

The techniques

© Francesco Romeo

Relatively easy to make, especially if you are familiar with DIY and feel a bit artistic, the Shabby style can be reproduced on almost any furniture, surface and material. There are many techniques used to reproduce it, among the best known we point out:

- Pickling: refers to a French decorative technique whose origins date back to the era of Louis XV and is mainly used to give an effect of aging and wear to the wood, but increasingly it is also applied to cardboard, metal or If you want to try your hand, you will find many courses or video tutorials online to learn this technique and, basically, you will need an abrasive steel wool, satin acrylic paints, brushes and a candle.

- Decoupage: decorative technique, whose name derives from the French découper, that is to cut out. In practice it consists, precisely, in cutting out illustrations or strips of paper without any finishing and using them as decoration. In the Shabby version obviously light and pastel colors are preferred, romantic figures drawn from Provencal iconography, and natural fabrics such as linen, cotton and rice paper.

The shabby in the house

© Francesca Marini- Styling: Alessandro Pennesi

Starting from the colors and materials we talked about a few lines above, the Shabby house is characterized by objects and accessories of various kinds and workmanship. Being in itself a natural, relaxed and comfortable style, there are no rigid dictates that exclude particular elements. Everything, properly treated, can potentially become a Shabby accessory.

Lace and lace are welcome, both in the centerpieces and on the towels in the bathroom, in the kitchen there are tin utensils, vintage porcelain services, even unmatched, and perhaps with delicate decorations.

On the sofas, cushions with a country taste and natural colors cannot be missing and also the flowers, preferably roses, hydrangeas, camellias or lavender, represent an additional element capable of recreating a perfect Shabby setting.

Go ahead even for small artifacts, perhaps a frame made with shells or pebbles, inside which to place a beautiful photo of the past.

The final touch is the candles, of any shape, size and aroma, to be placed in strategic points and illuminate cold winter afternoons with a warm atmosphere while sipping a hot tea and chatting with friends.

Tags:  Marriage Properly Old-Couple